As a homeowner, preparing yourself for plumbing emergencies is always a good idea. That leaky pipe can wreak havoc on your home, and some severe leaks can cause structural damage that will cost thousands of pounds to repair.

That’s why every homeowner should have a basic toolkit of plumbing tools, as they will help you take care of the most common problems in your home’s plumbing system.

So, in this blog post, we will discuss the essential tools that every homeowner should have in their toolkit and provide some tips on how to use them properly.

Let’s get straight to it.


The plunger is probably the most common plumbing tool every homeowner should use. It is primarily used to unclog toilets and sinks and can help restore the flow of water in your system.

To use a plunger properly, make sure to cover the entire drain opening with the rubber suction cup. Apply enough pressure to create a seal, and then start plunging up and down vigorously.

If successful, you should see the water level rise in the bowl or sink, which means that the plunger is working. Once you’ve dislodged the clog, flush the toilet or run some water down the sink to clear any remaining debris.

In some cases, if a blockage is severe, you might need to try it out.


Pliers are ideal for numerous plumbing tasks, including tightening and loosening pipes, removing drain stoppers, and more.

Different types of pliers are available on the market, but the most common ones used for plumbing tasks are slip-joint pliers and tongue-and-groove pliers.

To use these properly, position the jaws of the pliers around the object that you want to grip or remove and then apply pressure accordingly.

If you’re trying to remove a drain stopper, for example, you would need to place the pliers’ jaws over the top of the stopper and then twist it until it comes loose.

Pipe Wrench

A pipe wrench is another essential tool every homeowner should have in their toolkit. It is primarily used for turning and gripping pipes, fittings, and other objects that are difficult to grip with your bare hands.

When using a pipe wrench, make sure to position the jaws of the wrench over the object that you want to grip. Apply enough pressure to create a secure grip, and then start turning the twist in the direction that you want to go.


A hacksaw is a hand-operated saw that cuts various materials, including metal, plastic, and wood. It consists of a blade mounted on a frame and can be replaced when necessary.

Hacksaws might require some pressure to get the blade started, but once it’s in motion, it should be able to cut through the material.

Remember that hacksaws are designed for cutting straight lines, so if you’re trying to make a curved cut, you might need to use a different type of saw.

Drain Snake

When a plunger won’t do the job, it’s time to break out the drain snake. A drain snake is a long, flexible metal that you can insert into a drain to remove clogs.

To use a drain snake, insert the tip of the snake into the drain and start moving it around in a circular motion. As you move the snake around, it will break up any blockages or debris that are causing problems.

Once you’ve dislodged the clog, flush the toilet or run some water down the sink to clear any remaining debris.


Sealants fill in cracks and gaps in pipes, fittings, and other objects. They are available in liquid and gel form and can be applied using a brush or a sprayer.

When using sealants, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

In most cases, you will need to apply the sealant to a clean surface and allow it to dry for the recommended time before using the plumbing system again.

Leak Detection Tool

It’s not always easy to notice leaks, but a detection tool can help. The leak detection tool has a sensor that you can place over the area of a suspect leak and will alert you if you’re right.

The sensor emits a sound or light signal that indicates the presence of water, and you can get both battery-operated and AC-powered models.

Pipe Cutter

Pipe cutters are handheld tools with a blade mounted on a frame that rotates to cut through pipes. They’re available in different sizes, but the most common ones are for cutting copper or PVC pipes.

Metal Files

If you’re working with metal pipes, you might need to use a file to smooth any rough edges. Metal files come in different shapes and sizes, but the most common ones are round files and half-round files.

When using a file, hold it perpendicular to the surface you’re working on and apply even pressure.

You can use a push or pull motion, but in most cases, it’s best to start with a push stroke and then finish with a pull stroke.

Learning How To Use Plumbing Tools Correctly

While many tools come with instructions, it’s best to consult a plumber for help if you have no plumbing knowledge. When you try to fix leaks or other issues on your own, you can create more damage over time.

However, if you’re planning an extensive renovation project or are interested in a career change, plenty of plumbing courses are available.

These courses range from beginner’s workshops that teach people plumbing basics to professional classes where you can gain certification.

Once you complete a course, you’ll be able to apply your knowledge to plumbing tasks and understand each tool’s role.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this guide points you in the right direction, and you can find the right plumbing tools for your home. While you might not need all of them for every job, it’s always better to be prepared just in case.

Plumbing damage can cost a fortune to repair, and some plumbers might not be able to get to your property immediately, but having the right tools can prevent the damage from becoming worse.